Gr all levels‘Penguin's production amplifies the fact that A.A. Milne has created some of the most memorable poetry and prose in children's literature. Charles Kuralt narrates all the tapes. When We Were Very Young resounds with Kuralt's lively reading of the nonsensical and onomatopoetic rhymes that fill the heads of toddlers. Opposite these poems, the narrator reads, with loving care, the verses about the real and imaginary playmates that warm youngsters' hearts. Now We Are Six reflects the growing complexity of a child's world. The narrator's voice is soft and vulnerable when reading of the innocent, inquisitive thoughts that preoccupy children, yet Kuralt speaks with a touch of exasperation when reading the poems depicting the young's struggle to understand the adult world. He does equally as well with Milne's stories. All the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood are introduced and their humorous escapades chronicled in Winnie-the-Pooh. While portraying the characters, Kuralt's child-like tone reflects their goodness, innocence, and wee intellect. The House at Pooh Corner continues the adventures of Pooh and introduces the bouncing, pouncing, lovable Tigger. Besides the delight children will experience when listening to the light-hearted, captivating stories, young listeners will also identify with the universal hopes, fears, and wishes of the characters. Kuralt's deep, learned-sounding voice gives the narration a fatherly, comforting feel. Libraries will want to acquire these high quality productions.‘Mark P. Tierney, William B. Wade Elementary School, Waldorf, MD
Judging by his smooth, superior performance here, British actor Broadbent may well have spent lots of time in Milne's Hundred Acre Wood. To generations of children who know the Disney-fied version of these characters, Broadbent's Pooh will sound slightly more buffoonish than merely daffy (as Pooh appears in so many of the Disney animated films). However, this new interpretation is well in keeping with the author's creation of the Bear of Very Little Brain. And Pooh's sweet and loyal attributes are never tarnished. Via Broadbent's treatment, the beloved gang that includes enthusiastic Tigger, agitated Rabbit, melancholy Eeyore and, of course, level-headed Christopher Robin, journeys through a series of familiar adventures and maintains a place of honor in the children's audiobook canon of classics. This recording joins those by the late Charles Kuralt as some of the best adaptations of the material. Ages 5-up. (Oct. 2003). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.